i want to start over with existing desktop

  pollpott 18:00 29 Jul 2009

My desktop is about 4 years old, XP,140GB hard drive (90 GB free), SP3,1GB ram. Once used by whole family so has all sorts of "stuff" on it, now mostly used to store n play music/photos. Is checked with spybot and AVG antivirus fairly often and there seem to be no obvious problems.It is rather slow and i would like to get rid of most programs on it to leave web access, photoshop, napster and 1 or 2 others eg printer software.Is there an easy way to do this rather than going through everything one at a time? I do have access to a large external hard drive. Thanks

  mfletch 18:41 29 Jul 2009

You dont have to remove the programs just stop them from starting at start-up this will speed the computer up.

Click start>run>type in the box

msconfig>click on OK or enter,

Look in the start-up tab and stop what you dont want to start at start-up

But leave the Antivirus starting

  OTT_Buzzard 18:41 29 Jul 2009

If you have all your personal files and software backed up then it sounds like a clean installation of the oepratng system may be the easiest route with the best results.

If not, it's always a good idea to back your personal stuff up. Once that's done the clean install should be a quick process ;)

Failing that, then you don't have much choice but to remove each programme one by one.

  Kevscar1 18:48 29 Jul 2009

First download CCeaner click tools and manually uninstall then run cleaner to clear out all the old unwanted bits and pieces then run it,s reg cleaner.

  pollpott 19:15 29 Jul 2009

one problem ive had before in removing programs is that the title doesnt always help in knowing what it is.I'm interested in the idea of a clean install but not sure what it entails, i dont have a disk with XP on it but there is a "recovery driveD" on the hard drive, FAT32,total size 5.98gb and 838mb free, is that any use?

  OTT_Buzzard 20:17 29 Jul 2009

The recovery drive will return the hard drive to the state when the PC was supplied as new. This could be a good way forward for you if you don't want to uninstall everything.

But....make sure you have copies of all software that you want to reload that wasn't supplied with the PC. And of course, your personal files!

  lotvic 21:04 29 Jul 2009

And you will have 4 years worth of windows critical updates to do as well.

  OTT_Buzzard 22:57 29 Jul 2009

And you will have 4 years worth of windows critical updates to do as well

True, but you can download the service packs n advance, install then you will be left with minimal updates.

  lotvic 23:34 29 Jul 2009

It was just a gentle reminder so's pollpott didn't forget to prepare for them :)

  pollpott 10:46 30 Jul 2009

thanks a lot for the advice the recovery drive route seems to be a good option. when I tried to access it all i seemed to get was a warning about not messing with any of the files, what do i actually do to get it to recover?

  OTT_Buzzard 11:09 30 Jul 2009

Suspect that you need to set to boot off the recovery drive.

When you switch on the computer do you get an option to select which drive to boot from? It may only be on screen for a second or two.

If not, when you switch on, you should have an option to "Press (whatever key) to enter set-up".
It will be written on the screen in the first few seconds that the computer is switched on for.
Typically the 'whatever key' is F2 or Del.

Do this then set the boot priority so that the recovery drive is the first drive....that should make sense when you get into set-up.

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